Hopefuls differ on issues
FROM the NBN to milk prices, candidates for the seat of Flynn have a variety of opinions on the issues that affect the North Burnett.
The National Broadband Network is currently being rolled out throughout the region, though Labor candidate Zac Beers said the process was botched.
“Labor had a vision making sure all Australians had access to high speed internet, that is where NBN came from, making sure all those in regional areas had access,” Mr Beers said.
“The government have botched the entire process, because they thought they could do it cheaper, but there has just been delay after delay.”
Incumbent LNP MP Ken O’Dowd said it was a case of the government not keeping up with the world.
“The world has moved faster than the government has moved, as you know governments don’t move very fast,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“When you take it all into account, you have Federal Government involvement, State Government involvement and local government involvement.
“It can’t all be done at once, I’d love to wave a wand and fix it, but these things take time.”
Mr O’Dowd said despite this, he planned to have the NBN rolled out in the area by 2019.
“It’s part of our agriculture plan as well as our social and moral plan to give everyone an equal hit at regionally fast broadband from 25-50 megabits per second,” he said.
Independent candidate for Flynn Nathan Fletcher said it was an issue of connectivity.
“We need a real overhaul and upgrade on our communications systems,” Mr Fletcher said.
“To know that there is a lot of areas who sit outside of even satellite communication is not only bad for trying to advance businesses, education, health care and communities as whole, but it’s dangerous for our health and wellbeing in an emergency situation.”
Mr O’Dowd said the backpacker tax had been raised with him a bit by constituents.
“I can see the pitfalls if we bring a 32.5% tax from the first dollar they earn, I think that will frighten a lot of backpackers off,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“Though some tax should be paid, they do use our hospitals and roads, but I think if we can come to a compromise, like the Seasonal Workers program from the Pacific Islands, where they pay 15% tax.”
Mr Beers said the introduction of a tax needed to be deeply thought about.
“Those workers are vital for sustained operation for a lot of businesses,” he said.
“Any changes to taxation to backpackers needs to contemplate the impact it will have.”
Mr Fletcher travelled to Brisbane to attend the dairy farmers rally organised by Robbie Radel on May 25.
“Placing a 50c levy would do wonders for the industry as a short-term fix,” Mr Fletcher said.
Mr O’Dowd said he had been talking with farmers and said a 10c levy could improve situations.
“(Farmers are) currently getting 55c a litre. If we lifted it to 65c a litre, things would be good for dairy farmers in the region,” he said.
Mr Beers said while he had not made any commitment regarding milk prices, he supported Australian jobs.
“(Our local businesses disappearing) shouldn’t be as a result of a price war.”
LNP Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd.
Independent Nathan Fletcher.